Allegri’s Time as Juve Coach Should Not Be Like the Milan Days

Former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is now the coach of Juventus.

Massimiliano Allegri is the new coach of Juventus after Antonio Conte resigned last week but his arrival has not pleased Bianconeri fans.

Although Juve fans are probably expecting their club to have a disastrous season with Allegri at the helm, he might be able to perform better with the Bianconeri than what he did with AC Milan.

His time with the Rossoneri started off well but after winning the scudetto in his first season with them, the club eventually started to fall apart on and off the pitch.

If Allegri is to do well at Juve, here are five reasons why his tenure in Turin could be better than in Milan.

Less Off-Field Drama

At AC Milan last season, there were disagreements between Adriano Galliani and Barbera Berlusconi and Galliani wanted to leave the club. Honorary President Silvio Berlusconi wanted Galliani to stay as well as his daughter to be involved in a director’s role with the Rossoneri.

Both Galliani and Barbera Berlusconi have been given CEO roles, with the veteran director focusing on the footballing aspects and the president’s daughter on non-footballing issues. It also worth mentioning that Berlusconi Snr has also been fighting various charges in the Italian courts in recent times and he was apparently not very fond of Allegri.

Allegri won’t have to deal with those type of issues in the background at Juve. He will able to work well with President Andrea Agnelli and General Director Giuseppe Marotta and build a good enough squad to work with.

Less Veterans to Work With

When Allegri arrived at AC Milan, there were plenty of veterans on the roster. There were players such Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo were just a few of the players who were over 30 years old.

Although he won the 2010-11 Serie A title with those players, he eventually had to phase them out. Pirlo was allowed to leave at the end of that season and he has shone since his free transfer to Juve.

Allegri and Pirlo will be re-united and if they can work together, that would be positive news for Juventus. Pirlo is 35 years old and he is one of the very few veterans who could play a key role for the Bianconeri this season.

The others would be 36-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and 33-year-old Patrice Evra, who is expected to the Bianconeri from Manchester United. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Allegri is not expected to start 33-year-old Andrea Barzagli in defence.

Less Erratic Players to Coach

Allegri coached a few players at AC Milan that would have been labelled as “bad boys” or enigmas such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli. Working with forwards like them would be a headache for most coaches.

At Juventus, the only player who could come close to them would be Carlos Tevez. Roberto Mancini froze him out of the Manchester City squad for a part of the 2011-12 season after refusing to come off the bench in a UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

Tevez has been calmer since arriving in Turin so there is a good chance that Allegri will have an easier time controlling things in the dressing room.

Cutting Down on Tactical Experiments

If there was one thing that made Allegri a coach loathed by calcio fans, it was his tinkering with players. He would persist with playing certain players in different positions even though they had regularly shown that they were uncomfortable.

With the Rossoneri, Allegri had used central midfielders Andrea Poli and Antonio Nocerino as right-backs, central midfielder Kevin Constant as a left-back and left-back/left-winger Urby Emanuelson as an attacking midfielder.

He did have two successes though, converting Kevin-Prince Boateng from a central midfielder/left midfielder into an attacking midfielder and he turned Nocerino from a defensive midfielder to a box-to-box midfielder.

At Juve he needs to allow his players to thrive in roles that suit them best but there are predictions in La Gazzetta dello Sport that box-to-box midfielder Claudio Marchisio could be used as an attacking midfielder, role that he has failed in for both club and country in the past.

If Allegri could leave Marchisio in central midfield and not use him as an attacking midfielder or a wide player on the left, that would be great.

Kwadwo Asamoah has played as a left wing-back in the 3-5-2 formation at Juve but has struggled as a left-back in a back four. If Allegri wants to use him in the 4-3-1-2 formation, Asamoah must not play at left-back.

Allegri needs to play everyone to their strengths. He can work on their weaknesses but he must not revolutionise their roles and try and change his players.

Bring Back the Beautiful Football from his Cagliari Days

Most people would have forgot that Allegri got the Milan job thanks to his fantastic work at Cagliari. As a player, he was coached by Giovanni Galeone at Pescara, who had a reputation for coaching ultra-offensive teams and Allegri would have taken some ideas from him on coaching.

At AC Milan, the style of play was not exciting. The team was built around Ibrahimovic and then Balotelli and they were expected to provide moments of brilliance. In midfield, Allegri had the likes of Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Mark Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong at his disposal, players who were artisans more than artists. Overall, the team was also slow in possession.

When Allegri coached Cagliari, his team was one of the best to watch in Italy. The Sardi were quick in their movement on and off the ball, they played with flair and played with confidence against all opposition.

Allegri transformed a team that looked like relegation-fodder into a team that had an outside chance of qualifying for European competitions.

Federico Marchetti was superb in goal, Davide Biondini was a workhorse central midfielder who eventually started to show more confidence on the ball, Andrea Cossu was a sublime attacking midfielder who could create a plethora of chances and Robert Acquafresca and Alessandro Matri fired in the goals.

Acquafresca has not been the same player since. He is not a guaranteed starter at Bologna but for Allegri’s Cagliari, he was a fine centre-forward and he showed more mobility too. Now he is a static player who can’t seem to find his scoring boots.

Matri struggled at AC Milan but Allegri had his reasons for signing him. Matri came of age under Allegri at Cagliari and he showed that he could play as either a centre-forward or support striker.

Allegri will have midfielders at Juve who are more talented than the ones at Cagliari and more attack-minded than the ones at Milan. If he can hold onto the likes of Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba and also find the right player for the trequartista role, this Juve team could be great to watch.

If Allegri can win and do it in style, he can really prove his doubters wrong.

My Best Italy XI for the post-Prandelli Era

My probable Italy line-up for the post-Prandelli era.

Italy was eliminated from the 2014 World Cup last week and there have been calls for many changes in Italian football.

There are still concerns that there are not enough young players coming through or being used and that is a valid point. Italian coaches still put too much emphasis on stars and experienced players.

I have created a starting 11 which includes some of Italy’s best experienced players as well as some of the young crop that is coming through. I don’t expect this to be the regular starting line-up that Italy would use at Euro 2016 but it is a starting point.

In goal I have put in Salvatore Sirigu in place of Gianluigi Buffon. “Gigi” would still be good enough for the Azzurri but he is 36 years old and if he has form slumps or injury issues, Italy fans should not worry.

Sirigu is good enough now and he showed that against England at the World Cup. He also plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain at club level, who have been performing better than Juventus in UCL recently.

In the full-back positions are Matteo Darmian and Mattia De Sciglio, who are both under 25 years old. Darmian was one of the few bright spots of Italy’s World Cup campaign and De Sciglio at full fitness is a left-back with great pace and skill. The likes of Christian Maggio, Ignazio Abate, Domenico Criscito and Federico Balzaretti can be confined to the past.

The centre-backs featured here are Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini but it would not be surprising one of them or both defenders are not guaranteed starters for Italy at Euro 2016.

Bonucci and Chiellini have their strengths but they probably have more flaws than the greats that Italy used to produce.

There are young centre-backs such as Daniele Rugani, Luca Antei, Luca Caldirola and Alessio Romagnoli just to name a few who are starting to emerge.

Caldirola is a regular at German club Werder Bremen and Antei plays for Sassuolo but Rugani, Romagnoli and many others need regular playing time at a high level.

In the midfield, there are two versatile midfielders in Antonio Candreva and Alessandro Florenzi, who can play centrally or in wide midfield positions. They can also play wide in attack.

Marco Verratti has the playmaker role in this team and I think he is ready to occupy Andrea Pirlo’s role for the Azzurri. Verratti is very calm for someone his age and he possesses better dribbling skills than what Pirlo ever did.

Pirlo is an Azzurri legend and has done great things for the national team but sentiment has to be put aside and planning for the future is a must. Verratti is the future.

So where does this leave Claudio Marchisio? Marchisio has not been impressive as he was in the 2011-12 Serie A season and at Euro 2012. Now that Marchisio is 28 years old, do not be surprised if he is cast aside for someone younger and more talented.

And how about Daniele De Rossi? He will be 32 when Euro 2016 comes around. If he is still in excellent form leading up to the tournament, then he could still be of some use to Italy. His toughness and his versatility can still serve a purpose for the next Azzurri coach, particularly if he is needed at centre-back.

In attack I have included Domenco Berardi, Ciro Immobile and Stephan El Shaarawy but there are many quality options to use in attack and there is no need to mention Mario Balotelli.

Berardi was a revelation last season with Sassuolo and he has already shown that he can score against strong opposition. Immobile was the leading goalscorer in Serie A last season with Torino and can only get better at German giants Borussia Dortmund. El Shaarawy battled with injuries last season but if he can regain full fitness, his pace and finishing ability can be a great asset for club and country.

I have left Mario Balotelli out because I do not believe that he can be Italy’s hero like some people expected him to be. Former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli tried to build the team around him and failed. Aside from the three attackers I mentioned, there are other options for the attack who deserve a chance more than Balotelli.

From Sassuolo there are forwards such as Simone Zaza and Nicola Sansone and from Sampdoria there are strikers like Manolo Gabbiadini and Stefano Okaka who are worthy of consideration.

Various strikers such Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi, Cagliari’s Marco Sau, Chievo’s Alberto Paloschi, Roma’s Mattia Destro and Fabio Borini from EPL club Sunderland are also worth looking at.

How about the other forwards in Italy’s 2014 World Cup team? Antonio Cassano is past his prime but Alessio Cerci and Lorenzo Insigne need to be utilised properly. Both Insigne and Cerci have played alongside Immobile at Pescara and Torino respectively so that understanding between the players can only be a benefit to the Azzurri.

Whoever replaces Cesare Prandelli as Italy coach needs clear ideas and understand  the characteristics of his players. From what is currently available now, this would be an excellent starting 11.

Making Inzaghi the Milan Coach a Great Move

Filippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf as AC Milan players.

 

Filippo Inzaghi is now the coach of AC Milan and it is a great move by the club to appoint him.

He has worked with Milan’s Primavera side for the last two years – he won the Viareggio youth tournament this year with them – and now he will replace Clarence Seedorf as senior coach.

Some people might be wondering if sacking Seedorf was the right move, but in my opinion, he should not have became the Milan coach in the first place.

Milan president Silvio Berlusconi was obsessed with the idea of Seedorf becoming a coach and got his wish early this year. It has backfired because the Rossoneri failed to qualify for Europe next season.

Seedorf’s predecessor Massimiliano Allegri struggled as AC Milan coach in 2013-14 but Berlusconi should have replaced Allegri with Inzaghi after the 4-3 loss to Sassuolo or let the former Cagliari coach finish off the season. Hiring a novice like Seedorf fresh from ending his playing career was the wrong move from day one.

If Seedorf was maintained as the coach for next season, it would have been ideal to let him buy players to fit into his system. Having said that, he was apparently not too interested in playing youngsters.

This is where “Pippo” steps in. Milan doesn’t look willing to spend money on superstars like it used too so with Inzaghi’s knowledge on the youth team players, he can promote the best players from there without the need to spend money on has-beens or cheap imports.

There have been rumours of Mario Balotelli’s possible departure from Milan and it would not be a bad thing if he left. There’s is no doubting his talent but his application has been questioned constantly.

Established youngsters like Mattia De Sciglio and Stephan El Shaarawy can improve under Inzaghi but they could be joined by the likes of Riccardo Saponara, Bryan Cristante, Hachim Mastour and Andrea Petagna in the starting line-up.

The Rossoneri has gone through a coaching merry-go-round this year but employing Inzaghi as coach might be a great move for the club going forward.

 

Stramaccioni makes the right move to coach Udinese

Andrea Stramaccioni as Inter coach.

Former Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has become the coach of Udinese and it seems like a fine move for both parties.

Stramaccioni will be replacing Francesco Guidolin, who will be taking on a supervising role for all of the clubs owned by the Pozzo family – Udinese, Granada and Watford. Guidolin resigned as coach after some stressful years of him constantly rebuilding the Zebrette squad.

The former Nerazzurri tactican was sacked after the 2012-13 Serie A season and took a sabbatical in 2013-14. His time with the senior team was unsuccessful, but he did have success with the youth team, winning the now-defunct NextGen Series in 2011-12.

When he did coach the Inter senior squad, he still had to build his team around the veterans who played a part in the Nerazzurri‘s 2009-10 treble-winning season. Unfortunately Inter ended-up playing in a conservative style to suit them and injuries took their toll on the roster.

When Inter did get wins on the board, “Strama” was praised for being a good organiser and possessing the know-how to study his opponents.

If there was one mistake that deserves to be scrutinised above anything else, it would be his phasing out of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder. He was eventually sold to Turkish giants Galatasaray and Stramaccioni put the creative burden on young Argentine Ricky Alvarez.

Hopefully he has learned from his mistakes at Inter. The good thing is that Stramaccioni won’t have to phase out any veterans at Udinese or build his team around a majority of them.

Udinese legend Antonio Di Natale is expected to lead the attack for at least one more season but Stramaccioni can still build the team around youngsters.

The Friulani have the emerging goalkeeper Simone Scuffet on their roster and other youngsters on co-ownership deals like Bruno Fernandes and Nico Lopez. Scuffet and Fernandes played regularly under Guidolin and Stramaccioni could keep nurturing their talent.

“Strama” could also consider bringing in players he coached in the Inter Primavera such as Samuele Longo, Marco Benassi, Lorenzo Crisetig and Alfred Duncan and help them gain more senior level experience.

Stramaccioni needed to move somewhere else after a disappointing spell at Inter and Guidolin needed to take a break after his reign as Udinese coach. Both Udinese and Stramaccioni could be doing things in the right way.

Serie A 2013-14 Season Vlog Part 3

Hi everyone,

This is third and final part of my 2013-14 Serie A season review in which I spoke about the teams that survived relegation as well as the teams that went down to Serie B.

The teams that survived included Cagliari, Chievo and Sassuolo and the clubs that were unfortunate to go down were Catania, Bologna and Livorno.

Here I speak about the form of the teams on the pitch as well as some off-field concerns. I also give my views on how the teams should approach the next season and how they can either climb up the Serie A table or return to the top division.

Thanks for watching,

Vito

Serie A 2013-14 Season Vlog Part 2

Hi guys,

Here is Part 2 of my 2013-13 Serie A review and I talked about teams that missed out on qualifying for Europe as well as teams that finished comfortably in mid-table.

There were teams such as Torino, Milan, Lazio and even Hellas Verona who battled for Europa League spots and even Atalanta was in the hunt.

Sampdoria, Udinese and Genoa were teams that finished mid-table but posed little threat in the battle for European spots.

Part 3 will contain reviews of the teams that survived relegation and the ones that did go down.

Vito

P.S If you support Udinese, be warned. You will not like my cynical review of your team.

Serie A 2013-14 Season Vlog Part 1

Hi guys,

This is the first vlog that I have created and this is Part 1 in my 2013-14 Serie A review.

I have talked about Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina, Inter Milan and Parma in the vlog, reviewing their campaigns as well as mentioning transfer targets for next season.

Part 2 will be about those teams missed out on the Europa League and who finished comfortably in mid-table.

Vito

Potential Azzurri Players for Euro 2016

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli announced his preliminary squad for Brazil 2014 last week.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli picked his 30-man preliminary squad for Brazil 2014 last week.

There was not a lot of controversy in regards to the players who made the cut but some good players did miss out on being in Prandelli’s 30.

There are some players who weren’t good enough, out of form, or they are still on the rise.

Here are 30 names that might be worth considering for Euro 2016 and these candidates are listed in their positions.

 

Goalkeepers

 

Simone Scuffet – the Udinese goalkeeper made his debut at 17 years old this season and kept Serbian keeper Zeljko Brkic out of the starting line-up. Considered to be some people to be too young for the World Cup but with more matchtime, he could be one of Italy’s best in a few years

Francesco Bardi – Livorno finished on the bottom of Serie A but Bardi prevented greater humiliation for the Amaranto. This season’s Mattia Perin

Andrea Consigli – he has been a consistent performer for Atalanta in the last few seasons. A reliable shot-stopper and he is also good at saving penalties. The emergence of Perin, Scuffet and Bardi might count against him

Vincenzo Fiorillo – a real outsider on this list. He did concede eight goals in the last two matches of the season but most of the time, he has been a superb shot-stopper for Sampdoria. He also helped Livorno to Serie A promotion last season. He wants to be Sampdoria’s number one and he should be given the opportunity

 

Defenders

 

Alessio Romagnoli – a product of the Roma youth system. Zdenek Zeman brought him into the senior team and Rudi Garcia plays the defender occasionally. Surely he can become a regular starter sooner rather than later

Giulio Donati – an Italy U-21 international, he made the jump from Serie B club Grosseto to Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen. UCL experience will be an asset for the player

Luca Caldirola – played for Bundesliga club Werder Bremen this season. Die Werderaner struggled but Caldirola played 31 matches for them and has played alongside Donati in the Azzurrini

Nicola Murru – the 19-year-old has been a regular at left-back this season for Cagliari. Even if the Sardinians get new investors, he should keep his spot and they should not look for another player in his position

Michele Fornasier – he played for Manchester United before moving to Sampdoria on a free transfer. He has not played a lot but he has been a solid performer when given the chance

Vasco Regini – the left-back started-off slowly but he has done well in his first full season of Serie A action. Not as fast or versatile as Mattia De Sciglio but the Sampdoria defender still knows how to use the ball

Michele Camporese – Sinisa Mihajlovic gave him some matchtime at Fiorentina but the centre-back is now at Cesena. The current Viola defence is that unreliable, Camporese deserves more games with Vincenzo Montella’s side than some of their imports

 

Midfielders

 

Riccardo Saponara – saw limited matchtime with AC Milan this season after an impressive campaign in Serie B with Empoli. He can play as a right-winger, attacking midfielder or support striker. Like most young players, he’ll need more playing time at a smaller club

Luca Marrone – he battled with injuries at Sassuolo this season but he can play as a central midfielder or as a centre-back in a three-man defence. Needs a full season to see if he is going to fulfill his potential

Roberto Soriano – the Sampdoria midfielder has played for Italy at youth level and Prandelli has called him up for a training camp. He could be  one of most complete midfielders if he can work on his shooting on goal

Giacomo Bonaventura – he is an excellent left-winger for Atalanta and Juventus has been interested in him. Probably needs to perform more heroics at Atalanta or prove himself at a big club to grab Prandelli’s attention

Alessandro Florenzi –  the Roma youngster can play as a wide midfielder or as a wide forward. Unlucky to miss out on Prandelli’s squad for the World Cup

Jacopo Sala – the wide midfielder had a stint at German club Hamburg and he has slowly worked his way into the Hellas Verona squad

Daniele Baselli – despite the presence of Luca Cigarini and Carlos Carmona in the Atalanta midfield, Baselli has managed to play 28 matches for the Orobici this season. A young central midfielder who uses the ball well

Andrea Bertolacci – he can play as a central midfielder or attacking midfielder. Bertolacci has excellent skills and can score goals. Too good for Genoa

Bryan Cristante – a star in the 2013 Viareggio tournament with the AC Milan primavera team. If AC Milan don’t use him next season, he should be loaned out so he can show off his excellent skills on the ball

Marco Benassi – a defensive midfielder owner by Inter but spent time on loan at Livorno. Andrea Stramaccioni gave him his senior debut with the Nerazzurri. Deserves another season at a small Serie A club than to play in Serie B or rot on Inter’s bench

 

Strikers

 

Federico Bernardeschi – so far the 20-year-old right-winger has scored 11 goals in 36 matches for Crotone in Serie B this season. If the Calabrese club can gain promotion to Serie A, it would be because of someone like him. A player worthy of a Serie A team

Manolo Gabbiadini – a star with the Azzurrini and he had his best Serie A campaign this season, scoring eight goals in 34 matches for Sampdoria. Another season with the Doriani might help him score more goals and break into Italy’s senior squad

Fabio Borini – he spent this season on loan at Sunderland and helped the Black Cats reach the League Cup Final as well as achieve EPL survival. Owned by Liverpool, he probably would not start in their attack and he should consider a move back to the Italian peninsula. He can play as a central striker or wide on the right

Stefano Okaka – a prodigy at Roma, the centre-forward became a calcio journeyman. Now 24 years old, he seems to have found a home at Sampdoria. Tall but athletic and can make fine passes

Andrea Petagna – a star in Milan’s primavera squad, he was not given much game time at Sampdoria. If Filippo Inzaghi can get the senior coaching role with the Rossoneri, Petagna could be given a chance to prove himself

Alberto Cerri – leading goalscorer at the 2014 Viareggio tournament for Parma, the 18-year-old needs a full campaign at a senior squad to show his potential

Nicola Sansone – the first of the Sassuolo trident on this list. He usually plays on the left side of attack and scores against the giants. Antonio Cassano’s arrival pratically forced him out of Parma but when he has started for Sassuolo, he has usually made an impact

Simone Zaza – a tall centre-forward with a good left foot. Despite his height, the Sassuolo striker seems to prefer the ball at his feet than in the air

Domenico Berardi – the emerging star of the latest Serie A season, he scored 16 goals in 25 matches for Sassuolo, and he scored mostly against big teams. At 19 years old, the right-winger played a massive role in the Neroverdi’s first Serie A campaign, helping them to survival

 

Obviously not all of these players will make the cut at Euro 2016 simply because only 23 can make the final squad.

There were other players who didn’t make the list such as Alberto Paloschi, Stefano Sturaro and Nicola Leali who could also be in contention if they make an impact in Serie A.

Some of the players can reach their peak but others might not. In the next two years, other prodigies should emerge or another bunch of late bloomers could come out of nowhere.

There is plenty to like about Prandelli’s preliminary squad for Brazil 2014 but it wouldn’t be surprising if some of these names are considered for the Italian team two years from now.

Sampdoria Can Look at Foreign Models to Run the Club

Sampdoria president Edoardo Garrone needs to have a blueprint for running the club.

Next season will be Edoardo Garrone’s second full season as Sampdoria president and so far there isn’t a clear project outlined.

I wrote in my latest Sampdoria Club Focus for Forza Italian Football about the pros and cons of the Blucerchiati following Udinese’s business model for running the club.

Instead of looking at imitating a local model, Sampdoria can draw some inspiration from foreign models such as Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Barcelona.

These three clubs have been chosen because they are either in good financial shape, focus on youth, they play attacking football, win trophies, or all of the above.

I stated on the Sampdoria Club Focus podcast with Drew Farmer recently for Forza Italian Football that I would like to see Sampdoria follow the Dortmund model than the Udinese one.

Dortmund was in debt in the 2000s but it has invested in youth, has had good scouting, given coach Jurgen Klopp time to build a team that presses constantly and launches counter-attacks, and it has won trophies. BVB can sell high now but are still capable of finding quality replacements.

The Arsenal model has its flaws because the EPL club has not won a major trophy in 10 years. In recent years though, the Gunners have left their old home ground Highbury for Emirates Stadium, unearthed youngsters and play attractive football under Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal had a reputation for playing ugly football in England but Wenger changed that when he arrived in London in 1996. The Frenchman won silverware in his first eight seasons at the club, and although silverware has eluded his team since the 2003-04 season, he has helped the Gunners shrug off the “boring, old Arsenal” tag.

Taking inspiration from the Gunners probably won’t result in trophies but the club is in a good state financially and the team has a reputation for entertainment.

Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world and it is debt. The Catalan club’s model is also based on the model associated with Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam.

Garrone and the other Blucerchiati directors wouldn’t want to spend money like Barcelona but they should look at the Spanish giant’s scouting system, especially how they find young players worldwide, how its players fit into a system of play, and also how the youth teams play in a similar manner to the senior squad.

The concept having the youth teams play in a similar manner as the senior squad is a good one but it probably would not happen under the current system at Sampdoria unless senior coach Sinisa Mihajlovic leaves.

Primavera coach Enrico Chiesa uses the 3-5-2 formation and Mihajlovic uses either the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Assuming that the Serbian leaves in the summer, Garrone could find a coach that gives youngsters a chance and integrate Chiesa’s players into the senior squad.

The Doriani have had a reputation for being one of the few teams in Italy known for playing offensive football. Il Doria‘s scudetto-winning coach Vujadin Boskov once said that watching Sampdoria play is like listening to beautiful music and all Sampdoria teams should embrace that way of thinking.

Garrone should help Sampdoria maintain that attacking mentality and make sure that the club is in good shape financially. The roster is a young one but if Garrone can borrow some ideas from the foreign clubs I’ve mentioned, they might help Sampdoria do well on and off the pitch.

The Right-Wing Should Not Be a Long-Term Option for Gabbiadini

Manolo Gabbiadini playing for Sampdoria.

Manolo Gabbiadini should not play on the right-wing for Sampdoria as his career progresses.

He has played in that role under Sinisa Mihajlovic for the Blucerchiati and has had some success but it does not look like a great move in the long run.

The statistics support that he should stay in that position, but he has not scored since Round 27, when Sampdoria won 4-2 against Livorno.

Before Mihajlovic replaced Delio Rossi as Sampdoria coach, Gabbiadini was used in his natural role as a striker. The young forward had little space in front of him and he was lacking ball supply from the midfield.

This is not the first time that Gabbiadini has been played out of position by a coach. When he was at Bologna last season, coach Stefano Pioli sometimes used Gabbiadini as a left-winger. He still managed to score six Serie A goals for the Felsinei despite the presence of the more experienced Alberto Gilardino leading the line.

Gabbiadini has surpassed his tally for goals in a Serie A season by scoring eight goals so far for Doria in 2013/14. Five of them have come under Mihajlovic and also when he has played on the right-wing.

Despite his goalscoring form this season, it does not look like a good idea to let Gabbiadini play on the right-wing. This is based on the way that he plays sometimes or even the way Samp plays as a whole.

He is agile but he is not particularly quick. He has good ball control but he does not possess the trickery of a winger. Modern teams have become obsessed with inverted wingers, guys who receive the ball on the wing and then cut-in to move into a more central position.

If Gabbiadini moved quicker or Sampdoria played at a higher tempo and possibly give the young forward more space to work, then he could stay in that position more often. Otherwise he needs to play in a position that will allow him to make runs into space.

From next season onward and assuming that Gabbiadini stays at Sampdoria, he should play as a centre-forward or left-winger. He would be able to read the play better and make better use of his left foot. Using him as a right-winger should be a Plan C, not a Plan A or B.

Inverted wingers might be en vogue in world football but it’s not for Manolo Gabbiadini.